Monday, June 26, 2006

I Broke The Car


Yesterday we (Tom, Tommy and I) went to the base. We went to the shoppette/bookstore/Subway (everything is in one building) and I bought Tommy some more workbooks. He loves those things. Oh, and I bought some pop rocks that came with a lollipop. You dip the lollipop in the pop rocks and then enjoy the explosions in your mouth. I love those things.

After we paid we headed for the car. Tommy wanted to help Tom shut the trunk but Tom grumbled out no. He wasn't in the best of moods since he keeps losing his new computer game. Apparently he can't finish a mission and then he has to restart all over. A few choice words have been exploding from his mouth all weekend. I remind him that it's only a game and am met with narrowed eyes and an evil look.

So. Tommy was whining because he wanted to help. Tom said no, which I didn't understand, because how hard is it to let Tommy shut the trunk? Honestly. So what I did was say loudly, "Tommy, you may shut the truck," and I went around to reopen it and guess what?

A piece of the car snapped in my hand.

To open the trunk you have to lift the Chrysler logo and that said logo fell into my palm as I lifted.

And Tom saw.

The look on his face was sheer horror. The look on MY face was sheer horror. And it didn't help that Tommy gasped, his mouth forming a perfect O and annouced, "Car broken," in a solemn tone.

Tom snatched the logo from my hand.

"Get in the car," he said in a voice that he's never used with me before. "Get in the car. Now."

Any other time I would have put my foot down and refused to get into the car until he asked in a more polite tone. This time I just nodded, still slightly in shock, and ducked down into the passenger seat.

The ride home was silent. Tom was gripping the wheel the entire time to the point where his knuckles were white. His face was pinched in anger, lips set in a straight line. The broken logo sat in the drink holder between us, facing in my direction.

I mean I knew I didn't break it off on purpose. It just...happened. I lifted the trunk, it simply came off into my hand.

But to Tom, it was like I took a baseball bat and started smashing up the car for fun.

When we got home Tom finally spoke.

"Do we have super glue?"

Only, I didn't hear him because I was so surprised that he actually spoke to me.

So I went, "What?"

Tom sighed loudly. "Super Glue. Do. We. Have. It?" His tone was flat.

I thought for a moment. "I think. Somewhere in the house.."

Another sigh from Tom. "See, if we didn't have so much CRAP we could find things." Then he angrily undid his seatbelt and stomped across the street to the tiny shoppette by our home. (Much smaller than the one we just came from.)

I sat in my seat for a few minutes, my heart thumping. I still hadn't cried, possibly because I was still in shock that a piece of our car was now sitting in the inside of it. I was lost in thought but Tommy broke the silence by calling out, "Mommy? Want OUT!" He was struggling in his carseat, trying to undo the straps himself.

I blinked and slowly emerged from my seat. Then I let Tommy out and Tommy went around to the trunk and pointed to the rusted spot where the logo once sat.

"Car BROKEN!" he said. "Daddy mad."

I let out a deep breath. "Yes. Daddy is mad.."

We walked into the house and a few minutes later Tom came back.

"The shoppette didn't have Super Glue. Great. That's just GREAT!" he shouted, throwing his wallet down on the table with a thunk.

"I think I know where some is..." I said and then started going through the drawers in the kitchen. And, luck was with me because I found it right away. Usually when I look for something it takes me awhile to find it. Because yes, we do have a lot of stuff. That I can't seem to part with.

I was proud that I found it. I brought it out to Tom and was hoping it would put him in a better mood.

"Thanks," was all Tom said in a gruff tone. He took it and started to head to the car.

"Tom?" I called out.

He paused but didn't turn around.

I swallowed. "I'm sorry. I didn't it. I.." I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

"It's not just the car," was all Tom said before stomping outside.

Not just the car? Huh? I didn't know how to take that. I sat on the couch, mulling it over while playing distractedly with Tommy.

Tom came back ten minutes later. I jumped right up and asked if the logo went back on the car okay.

"I got it on but...who knows if it'll stay," Tom replied and sat down in front of the computer.

And that's the only words I got from him until he got off his game an hour later. Tommy was down for his nap by then and I was sprawled out on the couch, reading a book. When I noticed Tom in the entryway I put the book down and sat up.

"I'm sorry," I tried again.

Tom came over and sat beside me. "I know you didn't mean to do it," Tom began. He sighed. "It's just..I'm tired of you telling Tommy he can do something after I've told him no. It makes me feel like...I don't matter."


I understood what he meant. And he's right, I do sometimes tell Tommy he can do something after Tom has told him no. It's just sometimes I find Tom unreasonable. Like not letting Tommy close the trunk? Why not? Tommy likes to help, it's just something small. And sometimes he'll stop Tommy from jumping off the couches even though I've explained that he does it for sensory reasons. That he jumps off the couch because he enjoys the feeling of crashing onto the floor. But all Tom sees is a crazy child leaping off the couch.

It's little things, really. Tom will tell Tommy that he can't color in the middle of the living room, I'll say it's no problem.

Tom will say Tommy can't push the DVD button to start the movie, I'll tell Tommy to go right on ahead.

I suppose, if I were Tom, I'd grow annoyed. I'd start to wonder, "What's the point?" And I know it can't be easy for Tom, being at work all the time and missing his family. I know it must be difficult to have Tommy tell him, "Go away, Daddy." Because Tommy does. Lately all he wants is me. If Tom sits beside Tommy on the couch Tommy will call out, "No Mommy! Go away, Daddy!"

If Tommy ever told me to go away I'd be crushed.

So, what I did was, I took a hold of Tom's hand and squeezed. "I understand what you're saying. And I'll try. I really will."

Tom squeezed back. "Thank you."

We shared a kiss.

Then I said, "I thought you were going to pass out when the piece fell off the car."

Tom laughed. "To be honest Amber..I did too.."

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like my life in a nut shell. My kid is extremely hyper active -- I'm ADHD and my husband has Asperger's Syndrome. I'm thinking she has one or both. My hubby is extremely rigid in thinking and when my daughter acts up I swear I let her get away with murder. She jumps on couches, yells, writes on important documents, and I'm just too tired to deal with it sometimes. My home looks like a battle field most days. There are days when my hubby feels like I undermind his authority too but there are times he expects our 3 year old to behave like an adult. She's three! Just let her do the things she wants to do.


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